October 2001: Halloween

This year’s hot Halloween costume is simple and economical: turban, baggy pants, vest, and beard (untrimmed only, please). To complete the ensemble just carry, dangling from a strip of rag, a bloody severed human hand.

I can hear the cries of “Bad taste!” But isn’t that the object, to dress up as the most frightening thing? About the scariest thing going right now is the Taliban.

The word from Hollywood is, in order to protect people’s sensitivities, most disaster movies in various stages of production are being rethought if not actually dropped. I wouldn’t mind if certain Halloween costumes went the same route. Americans go to the party store or K-mart and plunk down good money for masks that feature ripped arteries, dangling eyeballs, seared and rotting flesh.

The number of genuine mutilated bodies in the world ought to satisfy anyone’s taste for gore. There’s no need to create artificial grievous wounds. I don’t equate Halloween with Satanism or any nonsense like that, and I wouldn’t try to legislate against it. I’d simply prefer it if people stopped thinking of mangled remains as something fun to dress up in.

Zombie by darkpatator Creative Commons License

Cannibal Corpse by eggybird Creative Commons License

About Pat Hartman

Before publishing the two books "Call Someplace Paradise" and "Ghost Town: A Venice California Life", my main project was "Salon: A Journal of Aesthetics. " I wrote extensively for "Scene," a monthly arts and entertainment magazine with a circulation of 25,000. Also proofread, sold ads, put together the music calendar and, for a couple of years, served as editor. Presided over a couple issues of the local NORML newsletter, as well as being featured speaker at chapter meetings. Wrote a complete screenplay; collaborated on another one; worked on a couple of scripts (additional dialog and general brainstorming) with an indie film producer. Booked the talent for a large music festival. Wrote, designed, illustrated and produced various catalogs and brochures for small businesses. Spoke at a high school as a panelist on Women in the Professions; was a featured speaker at the 1991 Women in Libertarianism Conference; presented public programs on "Success in One Lesson" and "The Bloomsbury Group: What's It To Us?" Created the website VirtualVenice.info and wrote many politically-oriented pieces for Earthblog.net
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